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What happens if you do not pay a Wal-Mart for civil damages, that might of happen though shoplifting?

Houston, TX |

My child was apparently caught shoplifting at a Wal-Mart. He was a minor and it was his first offense ever. We were sent a letter say "you are liable for civil damages in the amount of $150, due by..." I called the number they provided, asking about the situation. I wasn't able to release him from the store (working), so I couldn't ask questions. He said they threaten him, saying "if you don't give us the right information, we'll send out a warrant for your arrest." (Gave correct address and phone number) He had a friend (also a minor) release him, So I wasn't aware of what actually happened. Police weren't called, so criminal charges weren't filed. I've tried contacting the Wal-Mart store, but I couldn't get an answer on what happened.

Attorney Answers 1

Posted

I'm confused about what actually happened (as I think you are as well). This is most likely a CIVIL DEMAND. It has NOTHING to do with any criminal charges. You could be sued for the money... BUT the cost of them filing a lawsuit against you makes it very unlikely that they will pursue this. This is a tactic they use to get money from people who are easily frightened. If you cannot afford it, you can ignore them.
If you fear criminal charges may be brought, or if they ARE brought... call some criminal defense attorneys. I advise you and your son to not call Walmart, and not talk to anyone about this (except for a criminal defense attorney).

BEST ANSWER I got....and I hope I was HELPFUL! My answers do not establish an attorney/client relationship. Contact Steve Hamer at (214) 843-1529 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

Sadly I've made a mistake by calling them. It is also possibly a recorded conversation. (Recorded for quality purposes) I said my son told me he was caught shoplifting [long conversation later] I asked what proof they had, she replied "my son was caught, and you said your son told you he shoplifted."

Stephen Andrew Hamer

Stephen Andrew Hamer

Posted

You can't change the past. Even if: son is charged criminally and criminal attorney and you decide not to take case to trial.... you can work out a deal where it can eventually be off his record forever. Don't talk to anyone else! And don't post any specifics online! Good Luck. This is not a big deal, but take appropriate steps (as I advised) to protect his record.

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